Writings on music, art, technology and life.

bandcamp uploads

After fiddling around a bit with SoundCloud I listened to a sudden hunch and uploaded most if not all of my albums to Bandcamp: So you can now buy the digital albums or download the tracks. Your support is more then welcome.

Here’s a track from an album from year 2000.

Screenshot - 01222013 - 12:29:31 AM

Princess preview

Trying to move forward with more music, more ‘honest’, ‘true-to-self’ creations means finishing old unfinished tracks of work. In the primary view is therefore the finishing of the album with tracks from Frozen Images performance we did with Maja Delak (Wanda & Nova deViator) in early 2010. At the moment there are now 7 tracks pretty much above 90% finished. There are 4 tracks that seem realistic to finish by the end of the month. I find it extremely difficult to restructure, upgrade and finish music that we rehearsed and performed so many times (3 years?!). My creative process with music works like so, that I need to hear something (musical ideas) in my head and feel it in my body in order to start working on it outside of me. This is not true for momentary and very short sound/musical ‘object’, but more for compositional, larger structural blocks.

Anyhow, the sprint and finish line is before 30th of january. After that I will take what we have and give it to the mixing engineer and mastering engineer.

I finished the 7th track – an instrumental track called “Princess” (for now) few days ago and I’m too eager to share it, so here’s preview:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

digital commons group at green academy

At the end of august I was invited/applied to Green Academy at croatian island Vis. It was a great and inspirational experience all-in-all. One of many things that came out from discussions within ‘digital commons group’ was also some kind of report, which I’m publishing here in a very raw form.

In the general world of commons problems are mostly localized and are sometimes addressable locally. The digital commons debate is already lasting for some time and the problem is that digital enclosures are conditioned globally through harmonization of intellectual monopoly regimes, limiting the capacity of localized action.

What are digital commons?:

  • culture, science & knowledge without property exclusions, limited by copyright regulation
  • a positive message relating to digital commons is that there is already abundance in the digital. It makes it more visible as a contradiction between property and social use and thus makes it more immediate to intervention by the commoners. Therefore, we have seen communities transforming the institutions.
  • protection of copyright monopolies expensive both socially and economically
  • there’s good things about digital commons and bad things: openness and universal access vs. commercial capture through monetizing of our relations to one another as in the example of Google’s page-rank –> our relationst to objects of the world are commodified by Amazon and our relations to our fellows is commodified by FBook

How is this changing the world of information, culture and knowledge?:

  • Free Software movement as a model of struggle against enclosure: it was an avant-guard movment as it gave a gift to the world, and then gift got split: big beneficiaries are proxies and commercial entities, but some of these gave us benefits too – however, given the opportunity they will move it back into an enclosure
  • this is an interesting lesson for other commons movement how commercial entities capture commons
  • a big commons built upon free software is internet

How this got replicated onto other fields beyond:

  • communities: free culture (Wikipedia) and piracy (ex Gigapedia/ LibGen/
  • institutions: open access to scientific journals, open education resources, public sector information & open governance/consultation/democratic procedures (Icelandic constitution writing process)
  • those initiatives and commons struggles that emphasized the user rights changed the perspective on copyright that prioritizes monopoly of right holders, and bottom-up initiatives to reform copyright (open content licenses and institutional mandates) should and could prove successful with institutions with a public mission
  • commercial approach is dominant in these institutional fields (commercial academic publisher) and we are now trying to revert the predatory practices of commercial actors

Looking forwards towards the future:

  • proxies such as big internet companies appropriate the commons, then the question becomes how do we reappropriate
  • proxies replace proxies, but can p2p replace Google and the question is then how do we produce that desire
  • observing the problem of commons in the digital domain reveals their common character on a global scale, however local they may appear observing other commons.

Thanks to: Marcel Mars (Nenad Romić), Tomislav Medak, Vuk Čosić, Jodi Dean and everyone else in the digital commons group.

same old same old: codecs!! (avconv and AAC)

Today I encountered problems with encoding video/audio material due to same old problematic, which so many people seem to not notice but seems that it is oh so important. At least to content creators.

In short, here’s the thing: avconv, the flagship encoder/decoder for most of a/v content (it’s a fork of more famous ffmpeg), now cannot in a simple way encode AAC audio (this is the most common format for h264 mp4 video – or so it seems). In order to have avconv with libfaac encoder (which creates AAC audio) compiling is necessary – without an option to create a deb (if you are on Ubuntu or Debian). That’s quite inconvenient. However, there is an experimental work-around: instead of -acodec libfaac, use ffmpeg/avconv’s own experimental encoder by using -acodec aac -strict experimental.

So here’s the full commandline:

avconv -i INPUTFILE.EXT -s 480x320 -r 25 -b 1000k -bt 1600k -vcodec libx264 -pre:v medium -acodec aac -strict experimental -ac 2 -ar 48000 -ab 128k OUTPUTFILE.mp4

Above was made in order to transcode any video to a format suitable for Waterwheel online platform.

leopoldina istanbul on, jamendo and bandcamp

I’ve uploaded this collection of drone-ambient tracks (album), created in 2008 (and released on NYE from an Istanbul cafe) to, jamendo and bandcamp. I’d like to get it on SoundCloud too, but I’ve spent all my upload minutes, huh!

CC-BY-SA of course. Local (deviator’s) microsite is here.

I’ve created this album purely with my granulators – patches written in Pure Data on Linux, using Doepfer’s Drehbank as a controller.

a slice of critique of “commons”

A thought-provoking critique of the commons ….

“[…] communicative capitalism celebrates and relies on constant, nearly inescapable injunctions to participate, to express, to be part of a common that is expropriated from us rather than shared by all of us. It enjoins us to share in an illusion, to embrace a fantasy that extreme inequality is accidental rather than essential to the capitalism of global communication networks. Because we know it’s an illusion, a fantasy, at least part of the work of consciousness-raising is done. The task, then, is to claim the common against those who say they own it, accentuating the division between their claim to own and our communicative acts, power, and production.”
— Jodi Dean

See also her books Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics and her blog I Cite.

linux is a process, not a product

This is an essay that I wrote for IDOCDE (International Documentation of Contemporary Dance Education) project/website last week in Lunow-Stolzenhagen. It is an attempt to explain what FLOSS essentially is using some analogies. Feedback welcome.

Here’s a story.

Imagine yourself going to a workshop by an amazing dance professional who is teaching a movement technique that is the latest and greatest thing ever. You pay for it and work on it weeklong and you are amazed and thrown off your feet (literaly too) by its beauty, elegance, thoroughness, radicality, inventiveness – in short THAT is the most amazing method of movement that enables lighting-fast progress with your body and movement.

You think and realize you want to share this with your local peers. What’s more, you want to improve on it, merge the technique with some of your own discoveries during the years of your practice. You plan a workshop and a short sketchbook. You will fully credit the amazing dance professional. People will be thrown off their feet like you were, and will take it further, enrich it with their own ideas, use it in their work, make their own workshops for others to see and learn. This is how progress is made, isn’t it? By building on each other’s work. You learn something, you improve it, and you share it with others, so they can learn, improve and share it with others. People talk about it, mention names and peers, good practices survive, bad ones are left behind. You can be cherished if your work is distributed, mentioned and built upon.

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review of expression front

It started as some crosslinking between fellow musicians, you know, referring and recomending… Essentially, I ended up chating with a french person (in english) over facebook chat about Sad Sam Lucky Outtakes, and ended up uploading complete album Expression Front (from 2001) to SoundCloud, and that’s the album Kevin Carnaille of “Have Faith in Sound” blog wrote about. In fact, Have Faith in Sound is amazing music blog, passionately covering a wide range of sounds and musics.

Read Nova deViator – Expression front (2001) or check it after the break.

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fixing my sister’s laptop

So my older sister works on a laptop with “that other operating system” and she started to complain that the first system drive is too full (that-other-operating-system was giving her errors about insufficient disk space). That laptop had a remains of my attempt to lure her into Linux, but it didn’t work out. Which is totally fine. But the disk had partitions like this:

  • system partition of “that other operating system” – 38Gb
  • linux partition – 25Gb
  • swap partition – 6Gb
  • data partition – 250Gb

So, I’ve put a gparted live cd image on a usb stick using UNetBootin, booted the laptop into that, erased linux and swap partitions and grew first ‘system’ partition. When I rebooted I was greeted by lovely GRUB RESCUE prompt:

error: no such partition
grub rescue>

I downloaded boot-repair-disk and put it again on the same usb key using UNetBootin. I booted the laptop with it and chose advanced settings only to see, that it has understood that there is a MBR record missing and that it needs to repair it, so that it boots into ‘that other operating system’ (to put it simply). Just clicked “repair”, and it asked me for internet, so that it uploaded some diagnostic data to (Ubuntu pastebin), and asked me to reboot. Voila, it booted to ‘that other operating system’, needed to chkdsk + some of the software thought its freshly installed. Other than that, the system partition had additional 20Gb. End of story. Thanks to diligent work of free software community. I’m a bit blown off.